April 13, 2016

NEXT MEETING: April, 26, 2016, 7 PM


The last of our Sheep Breed Studies:

Gotland Sheep by Pam M.
Wensleydale Sheep by Pat E.
Icelandic by Lisa W.
Norwegian by Mary Helen B.

Speaking of the sheep of Norway, there is an interesting article online that should be of interest to us spinners, No Wool No Vikings - The Fleece That Launched 1000 Ships by Claire Eamer

Today, boats such as this recreated Viking ship, sport linen sails
Photo by Claire Eamer from Hakai Magazine online
Claire recounts a recent trip aboard the Braute, a Viking style recreated ship. She talks not just about the cold, difficult day journey itself, but also what it took in ancient times to create the sails for the ships.

As recently as 200 years ago, the square sails of some of the Viking ships were most likely woolen - dense cloth of handspun wool, "woven on looms in their small dark cottages. . . Outfitting a single warship might have required the wool of 1000 sheep."

Read the full article at:

April is our last official meeting for this year. In May we have Dye Day, in June there is Spinning at the Winery. July sometimes has a get together, sometimes not. August is the first official meeting for our next year.

Think about taking on President and Program Chair. These are really the two most critical offices needing new people. With out a Program Chair or Program Committee, there will be no programs for the coming year. A committee is a good way to go if no one can take on the whole job. Not every month needs to have a specific guest speaker. There are some very good videos that we own that have not been viewed yet.

But, we need some one or some ones to do the planning.

  • Apr. 26, Treadles Meeting [date change - TUESDAY night]
  • May 21, Dye Day - With Dreamy Goat Design. Check the previous newsletter for more information.
  • June 4,  SPINNING AT THE WINERY, annual spinning day at Retzlaff Winery, Livermore
  • June 17 - 19,  Palouse Fiber Arts Festival, Moscow Idaho. To get info on this fun looking fest you will need to sign in to get their newsletter at: www.palousefiberfestival.wordpress.com
  • June 24 - 26  Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene, Oregon. All the info you need is in the column to the right

CNCH 2016
posted by Vilija
A handwoven basketry flower cart for Modesto's theme:
From Field to Fiber

The conference in Modesto has come and gone, and as usual, it was fun for those who went. There were some interesting classes and interesting vendors. The committee that put on the conference worked hard, as there is always lots to do, plan, and execute. Two full years of work. A load of thanks to everyone: chairs, committees and volunteers who made it possible.

As Liaison for Treadles, I attended the Liaison meeting. It was announced that the registration for the conference was 224 people. This was fewer than expected and the budget will be tight. Actually, the whole CNCH budget is expected to have a shortfall for the next few years. In my mind, the question becomes, "Is the tremendous amount of work that it takes a group of volunteers to put together a conference that is only attended by a minority of the weavers of Northern California actually worth the effort?"

handwoven doll "mascot"

  • We all want it to be affordable, Modesto really tried to do that. 
  • We want convenience, such as having the hotel and classes or conference center connected. Modesto was like that, but the cost for such facilities is becoming over what CNCH is capable of supporting. This may be the last time we have that. 
  • We want lots of great vendors. But why should they keep coming when we only provide them with such a small audience. Its just too expensive and not worth it for them. There were comments from some that they can't do it any more. 

Part of the "Field to Fiber" gallery - hand spun

Without the monetary support of many participants, how can we continue to expect conferences to continue? Guilds across the board have a hard time getting its own participants to take on Guild office positions, let alone finding volunteers to put on a conference.

2017 will be held at Asilomar and is being put on by our area. There are still volunteers needed for that committee.
Part of a display of many different, unusual fibers in one booth.
This is Kudzu. Did you know it can be spun into a weave-able fiber?

The "Return to Sender" skeins, with the "Return of Return" crammed
onto the right side corner of the table. Not positive, but I think 5 of the 6 entries are Treadles'
Stephanie Gausted's hand spun, hand woven cotton blouse

Hand woven Yaks! Don't even ask how many shafts on a loom this takes.

BUACHAILLE  [pronounced "bough - shell", as far as I can tell]
Yes, we should be thinking exclusively of North American sheep and wool. But, its also a lot of fun to seek out fiber globally, especially when its from the British Isles. So this is not any kind of paid advertisement, just a fun song written for a wonderful knitwear designer, about her wool! 

Buachaille is the Scottish Gaelic term for herdsman or shepherd and is the name chosen by knitwear designer Kate Davies for her own line of Scottish wool. She has it available in 7 dyed colors and 3 natural fleece colors. Kate has her own fan club on Ravely and her Ravelry name is WAZZ. Her website is katedaviesdesigns.com. 

Her friend, Felicity Ford, wrote The Buachaille Song in which the refrain is:
Because Buachaille is amazing!
Oh it makes me want to weep;
from Kate Davies website

It's made of love it's made of mountains,
And it comes from proper sheep.

I thought anything that comes from "proper sheep" warranted a listen. You can find the whole song on Kate's website above. Search for the March 24, 2016 entry, or just The Buachaille Song.